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Kingstonian 0
1 Aveley
Sykes (29')

Aveley match report

match report by James Maw

Simon Lane started his reign as Kingstonian manager with a defeat to Aveley, but there were some clear signs of progress just a few days into the job.

Our new boss named two new signings in his first K’s starting XI: on-loan Wimbledon defender Ibrahim Bangura, and former South Park winger Ibrahim Jalloh.

Aveley came into the match having won their last three Isthmian Premier League fixtures and pushing hard to overhaul Bishops Stortford at the top of the division, and in the early stages the form book told, with the visitors very much on top.

And Aveley took the lead just before the half hour mark when their No9 George Sykes prodded home. It could certainly not have been described as being against the run of play.

Yet K’s would gradually grow into the game as the first period wore on, and appeared to gain real confidence from a mazy run from Jalloh in the last few minutes of the half. The winger set pulses racing as he jinked past several Aveley defenders, only for the move broke down.

Jalloh was a more consistent threat in the second half, with his jinking runs down the left a source of real concern for Aveley. One such run saw Tyrese Owen played through one-on-one, only for the ball to bobble away from him and into the arms of the onrushing goalkeeper.

Despite K’s growing into the game, our visitors maintained a threat of their own. Sykes was twice denied by Tolfrey when through one-on-one, and also missed the chance to put the game to bed from the penalty spot, blasting over from 12 yards after Owen had committed a foul just inside the box.

Speaking after the game, Lane insisted that there were positives to be taken despite a defeat that left K’s stuck in the relegation zone.

"Today was about effort and being proud of wearing the shirt and giving the supporters something to cheer,” said Lane. “It was a tough assignment against a top team who put you under a lot of pressure. But we had some good moments, and the overall feeling is positive because that group of players that has been much-maligned this season delivered a performance that showed they cared.”

It certainly felt like at least one step in the right direction.

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Ibrahim Jalloh, Michael Abnett, Tyrese Owen, Ibrahim Bangura, Jake Eales, Jacob Bancroft, Lee Lewis, Danny Dudley, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, O'Shane Stewart.

Subs: Bradley Kauzeni (for Ibrahim Jalloh, 85m), Iker Noguera Leon (for Sean Bonnett-Johnson, 63m), Kwesi Ntim, Junior Mboglem, Isaiah Jones (for Michael Abnett, 69m).

Aveley: Jonathan North, Jon Nzengo, Tom Stephen, Siji Odelusi, Ryan Scott, Harry Gibbs, Manny Ogunrinde, Garrett Kelly, George Sykes, Oli Coker, Kenny Aileru.

Subs: Jason Ring, Blaise Riley-Snow, Brendon Shabani, Benas Vaivada (for George Sykes, 90m+1), Jamie Dicks (for Siju Odelusi, 81m).

Goal scorer: George Sykes (29m, 0-1)

Attendance: 218

Published Tuesday 14th February 2023